Effort to tackle homelessness sees new Government investment of $300 million

Source: 1News

Extra transitional housing and more money for New Zealanders in emergency accommodation are part of the Government's $300 million plan to tackle homelessness.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Homelessness Action Plan will see an additional 1000 transitional housing places delivered by the end of the year to reduce demand on emergency motel accommodation, the Government announced today.

Kiwis in emergency motel accommodation will have 25 per cent of their income deducted towards accommodation costs after seven days. This will fall in line with other forms of accommodation support.

The plan also includes a $70 million boost to programmes that prevent those at risk of losing their rentals or becoming homeless and to support people out of motels and into permanent accommodation.

Housing Minister Megan Woods says motels were only ever intended as short-term emergency accommodation of up to seven days, but the average length of stay has increased to over seven weeks.

“Motels are not a suitable environment for vulnerable individuals, families and whānau and they are also not cost effective so we will provide 1,000 more transitional housing places by the end of the year in order to reduce the numbers on motels,” says Ms Woods.

“Alongside our state house build this Government will increase the supply of temporary accommodation to reduce the use of motels for emergency housing.”

Jacinda Ardern says the immediate priority for Government was getting people out of “sleeping in cars, and garages or on the street and into safe and warm accommodation”.

“Over half the funding in this package will go towards making even more accommodation available which will reduce the reliance on motels as emergency accommodation,” says the Prime Minister.

Alongside the main actions, the Government says there is also a long-term plan of action to address and reduce homelessness.